Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 21 Number 3
Transcribed by LaVonne I. Bennett

     LaVonne has received permission from Grayden Slowins to edit and submit Sebewa Recollector items of genealogical interest, from the beginning year of 1965 through current editions.

THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR; Bulletin of the Sebewa Center Association;
December 1985, Volume 21, Number 3. Robert W. Gierman, Editor.
Submitted with written permission of current editor, Grayden D. Slowins:


Previously I had studied the Danby 1850 Census to see if any Indian population was listed. I found no Indian names. More recently I scanning the Danby 1860 census I was surprised to find nine Indian families listed next to the names of the Charles Ingalls family, in the Shimnecon area. Again, in the 1870 census list there were no Indians. In 1850 there were a considerable number of Indians living at Shimnecon but the census taker considered it improper to list them. By 1860, though most of the Indian population had been moved to the Mt. Pleasant area, we had these nine families listed. Because of the odditites of handwriting there may be here an occasional error or two in the spelling of the name.

Listed below are the names of the Indians in the 1860 Federal census: (by Name, Sex, Age)

1) Wenetalagtie, M, 40; Caboun, F, 28; Dumadele, M, 18; George Hickey, M, 16; Andrew Jackson, M, 12; Musquigo, F, 4; Saragiuella, F, 7/12 month.
2) Padashaba, M, 28; Namigenequeques, F, 25.
3) Menanefitt, M, 50; Iskema, F, 55.
4) Lenidas, M, 18; Eonora, F, 16; William Bogue, M, 9.
5) James Oakanos, M, 28; Canana, F, 28; Lanaschereg, F, 11; Jackson, M, 8; Thomas, M, 6; George Washington, M, 1.
6) Mandama, M, 89; Samewl, M, 20; Okenehenaga, ?, 15; Calie, M, 15; Wento, M, 12.
7) Thomas Jeanasy, M, 35; Umageanac, F, 35; Minequimagu, F, 14.
8) Segramia, M, 35; Tatatabaha, F, 30; Shebiga, M, 13; Charlotte, F, 10; Chobagenous, M, 5; Temacogenous, M, 5; Almah Liada, F, 1.
9) Noggudime, M, 33; Keshebaha, F, 40; Telanoquage, M, 9; Megersago, F, 8.
All listed Michigan as the place of birth.
By 1870 our land hungry ancestors saw to it that there was no room here for an Indian population.

Monday, February 23, 1885. Chored around. Was a cold day. Helped wash. Sold Walker 52 bushels of my wife’s corn @ 25 cents, $13. Paid wife money. Sold Wesley Krebs 4 bushels of corn. Paid for sawing. Want (?) 30 cts my dues.
Feb. 24. Went to Wrights. Sold E. Stinchcomb and Wilson 3 ½ tons of hay at $7 per ton. Wilson had a credit of $9.50 and Stinchcomb a credit of $15.00. Dr. Benson 25 bushels of corn at 25 cts per bushel. Credit $6.25. Got crackers, oil and coffee, 70 cts.
Feb. 25. Went to Portland with 65 bushels of oats at 25 cts per bushel. Got ½ dozen brooms $1.25, half, 65 cts. Lemons 25 cts, dinner 20 cts. F. B. VanBuren got 2 bushels corn.
Feb. 26. Snowed some. Tried to draw an oak log 22 feet long. Broke sled. Tom helped me in afternoon. Went to Post meeting.
Feb. 27. Drawed 2 logs to mill, 22 feet long. Got a bit of Will Shafer, 25 cents.
Feb. 28. Drawed a log to mill. Went to Teals to see about Wright’s payments.

Sunday, March 1, 1885. Snowed some. Laid around home.
March 2. Drawed 5 small logs to Haddix mill. Was warm day.
March 3. Skidded my logs on Skidsuly. (This meant a sledge). Drawed one load of lumber home. Rained and snowed most of day.
March 4. Drawed my lumber home—-1524 feet. Sold Haddix 5.74 hardwood at $4 per m. Balance due him $3. Went to Wilson’s in evening. Sold W. Krebs 25 bushels of corn at 25 cts on 6 months time. Hells to pay and no pitch hot. Wife’s corn.
March 5. Hauled hay and fodder. Took Mary Shields home. Was very nice day. Paid her $15. Owe her $9 yet. Went to Post.
March 6. Went to mill at Sebewa. Got 8 bushels of buckwheat and 6 bushels of wheat ground. Homer VanBuren got 1 ½ bushels of corn. 25 cts a bushel. 37 ½ cts and 2 bushels of meal.

Sunday, March 8, 1885. Laid around home.
March 9. Split a little sugar wood. Was awful stormy.
March 10. Helped wash in forenoon. Split sugar wood. (Sap from sugar maple trees was boiled in large vats over an open fire, out in the woods. This went on for some days. Split wood aplenty was needed).
March 11. Split sugar wood part of day. Hauled in stack of hay. Had a social dance here at night.
March 12. Went to Vermontville. Dayton left home to work at Marshall. Got him a trunk. Paid him $5. Got 100 Eureka spiles. $3.50. 5 cts for candy and got $10 of I. F. Wool for 60 days.
March 13. Was a cold day. Chored around. Took Mary Shields home. Went to Neads to church.
March 14. Hauled one load of hay. Was cold day. Snowed some and rained hard in afternoon. Went to Fryfogles to mill. Took 39 bushels of corn and oats. Went after Sybil and Olive Wright.
Sunday, March 15, 1885. Went to Ben Beatman’s. Was very cold and blustery.
March 16. Helped wash in forenoon and chored in afternoon. Cartwright got 55 bushels of corn of my wife at 25 cts per basket.
March 17. Note due at Bank – 20. Chored around. Was cold. 10 degrees below zero. Went to church.
March 18. Went to Portland with 27 bushels of wheat for bread. Was cold day. Sybil Wright went along. Paid note at the Bank. Borrowed $5 of my wife.
March 19. Took hay to I. Cuers. Was cold day. Snowed some. Wife went to Wrights to help bake wedding cake for Olive’s wedding. Went to Post.
March 20. Weighed 500 lbs hay for Space. Sold Putnam 1 ½ tons for $12 ½. Note on Downs payable in 30 days. Was very cold day, 15 degrees below zero.
March 21. Went to Vermontville. Got Will suit of clothes $27. Got me a suit, $10, navy blue. Got Cal a pair of shoes, $1. Got a pickle dish for $2 for Oly Wright, a present. Got a draft of I. S. Wright for $60 to pay Bare on note. (Is this Sybil Wright? It may be. Note later.)

Sunday, March 22, 1885. Olive Wright and Charley Tilton were here. Went to church at night.
March 23. Chored around. Did not do anything to amount to a hill of beans. Snowed hard and blowed.
March 24. Weighed out 2100 lbs hay for Baer. Went to Olive Wrights wedding in the evening. Had a very pleasant time. Went after a Methodist preacher to officiate on the occasion.
March 26. Took Charley Tilton and wife (Olive) to Vermontville. Carry and Rosa went along. Drawed $60 for Wright. Sleighing played out.
March 27. Worked in sugar bush. Scattered buckets.

Sunday, March 29, 1885. Stayed around home. Was very nice day. Wrote a letter to Wright and one to McDonald. (Orville Wright lived in Swan, Indiana. A. K.’s brother-in-law. A. K.’s boyhood was spent in Swan. He met and married Charity Wright there. They moved to Sunfield in 1868.
March 30. Gathered sap and boiled in. Snowed hard all forenoon.
March 31. Gathered sap. Was a very nice day. Made out Z. M. Report in evening. (G. A. R. Post 283) Got a letter from Date.
April 1. Sowed 4 acres to clover over on my wife’s place. Was a nice day. Gathered sap in the afternoon.
April 2. Boiled in sap in forenoon and hauled hay in the afternoon. Went to Post meeting. Was awful muddy. Paid Travers 40 cents for patching boots. 25 cents for tobacco, 10 cents for cheese.
April 3. Gathered sap. Was nice day.
April 4. Went to caucus. Gathered sap. S. F. Wright was here. Orve came home late. (S. F. Wright, probably Sybil Wright.)
Sunday, April 5, 1885. Gathered 12 bbls sap. Orve was in bush. Will took Orve home. He got 5 lbs sugar.
April 6. Went to Town meeting. John Wool got 200 lbs hay at $9 per ton.
April 7. Sold Charley Jackson a right of fence $2 and Wm. Bishop a right to be paid in 90 days, $5.
April 8. Went to Cuers with my old sow. Sold to F. M. Peck a farm right to be paid in 4 months. 50 acres. (A. K. did not capitalize farm or fence right. The first two times he wrote it Wright, but never again). 2.50 Spencer bargained for the right.
April 9. Weighed out hay, 1,000 lbs for Boyer and 1,276 lbs for I. F. Wool. Was nice day. Sowed 5 acres of clover seed.
April 10. Sold D. J. Loomis 160 acres right. Is to make me out an insurance policy, $9 and pay me a note of $5. Left the note with Frank Loomis at Vermontville.
April 11. Sold right. O. M. Wells is to pay Orve $1. Shraver is also to pay Orve $1 for a right of 5 acres. Snowed all day. Took dinner at Dick Blairs at Vermontville. Walked home. Was awful tired.
Sunday, April 12, 1885. Boiled in some sap. Syruped down twice.
April 13. Helped to gather sap and boiled it in.
April 14. Was cold. Went to Vermontville. Snowed hard, in afternoon. Put up two samples, one for Griswold and one for Townsend. Stayed all night at Wm. Hales.
Sold Drew Purchase right of 80 acres. Got note of $2, left with Orve. Went to Nashville, got $8 of Wm. Gregg. Came home. Car fare, ?, tobacco, 25 cents, 20 cents and 5 cents; 50 cents.
April 16. Boiled in sap. Gathered 18 barrels. Am 48 years old today.
April 17. Boiled in some sap. Went to Perkins. Got $2 in money. Paid my wife the same.
April 18. Sold F. O. Putnam right of fence. Took his note for $6, payable in 6 months.

Sunday, April 19, 1885. Went to Father Stinchcombs. Was very nice day.
April 20. Went to Shiawassie County. J. E. Wool went with team and my buggy. Got dinner at Wacousta, $1. Stayed all night at Sam Dehavens.
April 21. Went to John Tubs. Put up sample of patent fence. Sold Mr. Ridout a right, $5. Went to Ovid, paid $2.85 for wire.
Went to Andrew Shermans. Sold a farm right $4 and one to I. Sherman. Went to Barry’s. He was awful mad at us.
April 23. Went to Vernon to a sheep shearing association. Did not sell any rights. Stayed all night with R. Steel on the Blags estate. Is a fine man. Rained in night. Dinner and horse fed, $1.
April 24. Went to Corunna and Owosso and Shytown. Put up a sample for Mr. Reynolds and P. N. Cook and sold Rowel a right. Stayed all night at Rowels. Dinner and horse fed, $1.
April 25. Went to Ovid in afternoon. Got some wire, 75 cents worth. Dinner and horses fed, 50 cents. Went to Dehavens. Stayed all night. Rained hard.
Sunday, April 26, 1885. Came home. Was cold in morning. Paid for dinner and horses in barn, $1. Got home at dark.
April 27. Went to Charlotte to get some pension papers filled out and sent to Detroit. Ed. Stinchcomb went along. Dinner and horse fed, $1.
April 28. Plowed at home.
April 29. Plowed all day.
April 30. Rained most of day. Went to Snivelys. Got a spring drag, $4. Paid him. Got $6 of my wife and paid $4 back.
May 1. Took out potatoes and loaded 70 bushels to sell. Put 27 bushels in barn.
May 2. Paid Dou_?_ $21 for Wright. Went to mill with 71 bushels potatoes. Got 30 cents per bushel, $21.30. Got bushel of early _?_. Let C. Wool have $8.30. Let Orve have $1. John is to pay me. Had B. Haddix team, Weals got a check on the Bank of $1113.50. Paid out $10.

Sunday, May 3, 1885. Laid around home most of day. Went to church. Rained and snowed some.


Then there was Frank, the unpredictable horse. You never know what to expect from him. The folks had raised him from a little cold and kept him until he died. My mother told me this story. She was watching out the window once when Arby had led Frank out to the horse tank. After drinking his fill of water, Frank leaned over Arby, grabbing him by the back of his coat, picked Arby up and swung him back and forth over the tank of water. Ma thought he was going to drop him in, but instead, he just stood him up on the ground and Arby led him back to the barn.

This one I witnessed: Sylvia was in Frank’s stall, putting the harness on him, needing him to take her to Vermontville. Sylvia had beautiful brown hair, so long and so much of it. At this particular time, the fashion was a “Jug Handle” hair do. You combed the hair straight back, then up in the back and gathered it all together, twisting it into a long coil. You fastened it securely to the center of the back, then lopped it around your hand, fastened it again. The remaining end you twisted around the base of the loop. You could see right through it and it did look like a handle on a jug.

Maybe old Frank didn’t like it because when Sylvia tried to flip his bridle on him, he reached down and grabbed her hair by that handle sticking up on top of her head. He started pulling and Sylvia started yelling and slapping his face. He wouldn’t let loose, so she rammed her fingers into the corner of his mouth and started pulling back on them. He had to open up! That was the trick you used when a horse fought having the bit put into his mouth. Needless to say, Sylvia had to re-do her hair before she went to Vermontville.

If the old “booger” was out in the pasture and you wanted to catch him, all you needed to do was whistle and he’d come trotting toward you. But, if you had a rope in your hand to lead him back to the barn, he’d wheel and trot right away. So, unless you just wanted to pet him, you’d hide that rope or you’d be in trouble.

On Saturday night, Arby drove Frank to Vermontville. It was the spring of the year and the Scipio Creek had overflowed its banks. The water flowed across the road, covering the wooden bridge completely. It wasn’t too deep so old Frank went right on across. By the time they came back on their way home, it was pitch dark and the water was steadily rising. Frank started through and suddenly he stopped and refused to go on. Arby talked to him and finally gave him a few good licks with the whip and the horse still would not budge. So, Arby got out of the buggy to find the trouble. Wading the water until he reached Frank’s head, he saw the boards had broken loose from the bridge and were drifting along in the current. Arby had to turn around and take another route home. Dumb animal, huh?

Another horse we called Maude was a very high spirited animal and could she travel? Built like a race horse, she certainly could cover the miles in record time. She was Arby’s pride and joy. Boys were boys back in the days when my brother was growing up. They loved speed just like they do now.

Driving along the road, coming up to a rig in front of you, sometimes you wanted to go a little faster or maybe you didn’t like the dust in your face, so you’d pull out and drive around. Simple? A natural thing to do unless you were a teenager and the guy you were pulling out around was another. In that case, if you had any kind of a horse at all, a race was on. Well, what else was there to do? Road ahead (although it was narrow), buggies even, horses heads side by side, so let’s go. Sometimes the wheels on the buggies would come together and lock. An accident, and the fun was over. Maybe no one was hurt but you had smashed your dad’s buggy, so the truth came out---you were racing---and Ma had heard of a few of these, though it didn’t happen very often. Most times the boys just had fun. In fact, I can’t remember of anyone in our neighborhood who had ever done this. Evidently Ma had, for she always would tell Arby when he would be leaving on a date “Don’t you be racing tonight”. Arby would say “I never race Maude, I just won’t let anyone by”.

I remember this one time, we were at something going on at the Bismark Church. Arby had taken his current girl friend, driving Maude on a single buggy. It was summer time and after the meeting the ladies and children all gathered on the front steps to wait for the men folks to bring the rigs around to take them home. Arby drove up in his turn and his girl friend left the steps and went down to the buggy. Just as Arby took her arm to help her up, Maude reared on her hind legs and began prancing back and forth. Arby would talk to her and just as quickly as she reared, she came back down on all four legs, standing as meekly as a lamb. Arby would try again to help his girl in the buggy, then Maude would rear again. After a few minutes of this performance, Arby would succeed and climb in the buggy nicely and drive off as easily as could be.

I heard a woman say “No girl of mine would ever get into Arby Lovell’s buggy with that horse hitched to it. She’s going to kill somebody sometime.” What the people didn’t know was that Arby had taught poor Maude this trick. He did it with a certain pull on the lines, then another when he wanted her to stop. Maude was gentle as she could be. Arby was the big show-off!

Once after Arby was married and gone from home, Ma and Sylvia went into Vermontville driving Maude. As they were driving down Main Street, Maude walking along with her head down, Arby, who was in town, saw them. He shouted “Maude”. Up came her head and she started down Main Street at a very fast pace. Sylvia had a little trouble quieting her down and stopping. It was just Arby with his tricks who made her high strung. He loved his horses and often said tractors took all the fun out of farming. He said it was a lonesome job with no horses to talk to. The horses understood him but the tractors didn’t.

LITTLE FLY. In 1906, after Ray’s dad (Grandpa Ped) had his leg cut off in a sawmill accident, they rented their farm and bought a home here in Sunfield at the northwest corner of Washington and Third Street with a small barn for horses at the north side of the house. The barn is still there. Prior to this time Ray had always used one of the farm work horses as a buggy horse and was just a bit embarrassed over it. Most of the other boys drove nice little buggy horses, so now that they had sold the others, he bought this pretty little dark bay with a black mane and tail. He called her “Little Fly”, and when he hitched her to his rubber-tired brand new buggy, the other boys’ rigs were nothing compared to his.

One Sunday he came to see me over on Ionia Road, seven miles from Sunfield. That night, leaving for home, he followed his usual routine. Wrapping the lines around the whip socket securely, making himself comfortable with his head on the back of the seat, saying “Home, Little Fly”, Ray drifted off to dreamland and Fly took him home. He woke up when she stopped at the barn door. Getting out of the buggy, releasing Fly from the thills, following her into the barn, removing the harness, hanging it on the wall, giving her a basin of grain to eat, fixing the straw for her bed, Ray then went into the house, at home safely. He didn’t look at the time, just crawled in bed to finish his night’s rest. Next morning, Ray went to the barn to take care of the morning chores and noticed a whole mess of buggy tracks in the driveway, made by his own buggy. The rubber tire tracks were different from others made by steel tires. All were dirt roads, no cement at that time anywhere, so the print of the tires could be plainly seen. Looking closely, Ray saw where the buggy had been turned around and gone south down the road. He hitched Fly up and started retracing the marks. They led him to Uncle Bid’s place. Ray could see where she had stood and pawed the ground there but he still didn’t wake up, so Fly returned to town. This time when she stopped, he woke up, never knowing all these other places he’d been. Seven miles from my home but he had ridden about fifteen. I can’t remember if Ray ever went to sleep on his trips home again or not. It certainly would not be my way. I like to ride, but I want to know where I’m going and where I’ve been. I think I have proved my point. Horses are not dumb.

DAN PATCH. P. J. was just here and I told him the story of Little Fly. He said “What about Dan Patch?” Leon Gilson (Dad’s cousin) had told him of this horse, so I guess I’d better tell it. This horse was a tall ungainly looking horse, a pacer, and could really cover the roads. Looks he didn’t have. At that time, there was a racing horse named Dan Patch that had a world’s record of being the fastest pacer. One Sunday, Ray was at our house. We were waiting for Grace’s date to come and Ray suggested we drive down the road toward’s Ralph’s house and meet him. Ralph Wetherbee was his name. He lived only a little over two miles from us on the Townline Road, now called Kelley Highway. We drove to the first corner south of us (Rawson’s Corners) then turned east. A short distance down the road, we came to the old Rawson place. The house was abandoned long ago, but several lilac bushes were still living around it and they were in full bloom. Grace asked Ray to stop and go cut us a bouquet. Of course he had his trusty knife in his pocket, so he hopped out of the buggy and over the fence and brought a bouquet to each of us. By that time Ralph was there. He was driving such a pretty horse and of course his buggy was bright and shiny. No rubber tires but it was a pretty sight. Of course Ray’s buggy was shining, too. Boys always washed and polished their buggies like they do their cars now.

Ralph also had his Kodak along and had Aunt Grace get in his buggy so he could take a picture. It was a pretty horse, pretty buggy, pretty girl with her bouquet of lilacs. Then Ralph wanted to take Ray’s and my picture. Ray said “You can take Myrtie and me in my buggy but don’t include Dan Patch”. Do you want to see the picture? P. J. has it at the store. There is a little of Dan Patch in the picture but not much. I don’t remember exactly but I think your Dad traded him for his pretty horse, Little Fly---but not even up I’m sure.

I hope I can make it clear to your folks, who have never ridden behind a horse, the difference it makes between a trotting horse or a pacer. A trotter will bob his body up and down while a pacer shows practically no movement at all. The slight sidewise back and forth movement of his head, in perfect rhythm with the beat of his hooves on the ground, no rippling muscles in his body, just a smooth, swift, floating feeling. It was quiet and restful and no noise from Ray’s rubber tired buggy wheels. One step of Dan Patch would cover as much ground as two or three of a trotter. His gait was what I call poetry in motion.

CREAM COLORED MAUDE. This was a small buggy horse Grandma Lovell bought a year or so before I was married. In fact, when we moved to Sunfield in September 1910, we brought her along. Lots of people at that time kept horses in town. Not too many had automobiles and one had to have transportation.

Maude was the laziest, slowest horse I ever had anything to do with. Her walk was a snail’s pace and her trot not much faster than a dog. Of course, this just suited my mother, who was frightened of a horse with any life in it. It must have been July 4th, 1907 when Ma, Pearl, Grace and I went to the celebration in Lake Odessa. We stayed a bit too long and darkness caught us before we reached home. Grace was driving and Ma was scared to have her trot the horse much because of the dark. All at once Ma said “Grace, Maude is staggering. She must be sick”.

Grace said “Sick, nothing. She is going to sleep, but I’ll bet she’ll wake up”. Then Grace grabbed the whip from the socket, giving Maude a couple of belts with that, she went trotting down the road. Grace told Ma she could see to drive and if Ma expected us to get home before morning, we’d have to move along fast enough to at least keep old Maude awake. Lazy old thing. She was safe enough for anyone to drive.



Last update November 15, 2013